HCM City still pays for pumping service despite no floods

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Nguyen Huu Canh Street in HCMC’s Binh Thanh District no longer faces floods following its upgrade, but the city still spends over VND14 billion a year to rent a massive pumping system.

HCM City still pays for pumping service despite no floods
A view of the massive pumping system on Nguyen Huu Canh Street. – Photo: LDO

In May 2019, the city signed a contract to rent the pumping system to drain floodwater on Nguyen Huu Canh Street.

In October 2019, work started on a VND473 billion project to upgrade the road which was often submerged by rain and flood tides. Accordingly, the foundation of the street was raised from 0.5 to 1.2 meters and a new wastewater drainage system was built.

The project was completed on April 30 last year. According to the Infrastructure Management Center under the municipal Department of Construction, the street has not been inundated since then.

During the rainy season in 2021, the street did not see floods despite a rainfall of 50-80 millimeters per day for six days.

Early this year, the wastewater drainage system on the street was completed and the pumping system was unconnected with two drains on the street.

Vu Van Diep, director of the Infrastructure Management Center, said in June 2021, the HCMC government assigned the municipal Department of Construction to coordinate with the relevant agencies to assess the necessity of the big pumping system after the Nguyen Huu Canh Street was upgraded. However, the job has yet to be completed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Diep said the Department of Construction had proposed the municipal government continue using the pumping system during the rainy season this year. The relevant agencies will assess whether the system is still needed or not and propose solutions to ensure its anti-flooding effectiveness and save the State budget.

According to Ho Long Phi, former head of the Center of Water Management and Climate Change at Vietnam National University-HCMC, the use of the huge pump was just a temporary solution. The upgrade of Nguyen Huu Canh Street and the change of the drainage system on the street were long-term solutions.

These solutions have been adopted, so using the pump will lead to wastefulness. He said the municipal government should end the pump rental contract.

If there are any obstacles to the terms of the contract, the pump should be used in another location, Phi added.

Source: Saigon Times

The annual rent has been set at VND14.2 billion for the super-large water pump installed on the flood-prone Nguyen Huu Canh Street, said a representative of the HCMC Department of Construction.

Old floodplains in HCM City still have not been cleared, while new flood sites continue to appear.

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